Where to sleep in Dubai
Best neighbourhoods to stay in Dubai
1. Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina is one of the most fascinating and beautiful districts of the city, always full of tourists and activities to practise. You can enjoy a fantastic walk along its pedestrian waterfront promenade plenty of fancy shops and boutiques, restaurants, cafes and clubs, most of them with a breathtaking view of Dubai’s skyscrapers. Its small port is a starting point for many cruises and marine activities, and the district also boasts long white sand beaches bathed by the crystalline waters of the Arab Gulf, including the famous JBR beach and The Beach. Dubai Marina is quite far from the other district but is well served by metro, tram, bus, and taxi. Next to Dubai Marina is Bluewaters Island that features over 200 shops, restaurants (including the well known The London Project), entertainment such as the Madam Tussaud Museum, hotels and beach clubs. Its main attraction is the Ain Panoramic Wheel, the tallest wheel in the world.
Here is the list of the best hotels in Dubai Marina.
Metro Station: Damac properties and DMCC (red line). Here, you’ll also find the Dubai Tram with several stops through the area.
2. Downtown Dubai
The downtown area is the heart of the city and the most popular area among tourists. When you think about Dubai, Downtown is what comes to mind. Here, you’ll find the iconic Burj Khalifa – the tallest tower in the world -, the Dubai Mall – the world’s largest shopping mall which boasts hundreds of retails, restaurants, cafes, and many attractions – the Dubai Foutain – the world’s most extensive choreographed fountain system – and the Opera House. The Downtown is an excellent choice for your stay and is well served by taxi, bus, metro, and tram.
Here is the list of the best Hotels in Dubai Downtown.
Metro station: Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa, Business Bay and DIFC (red line).
3. DIFC – Trade Centre
Trade Centre (DIFC) is the financial district of Dubai. In addition to very important offices, banks and financial institutions, it also boasts majestic architecture with chic residential skyscrapers, art galleries, trendy restaurants (such as the Zuma and the Petit Maison) and lively shopping centre. This district is an excellent choice for finding accommodation because it is centrally located with 3 metro stations (red line), not far from the main attractions. However, being the financial centre of Dubai, the cost of the hotels is quite high, but you can also find excellent deals.
Click here to see the list of the best hotels in the financial district.
Metro Station: There are three metro stations – World Trade Center, Emirates Towers and Financial Center.
4. Umm Suqeim (Jumeirah)
Umm Suqeim is a coastal residential district near Jumeirah. It is well known for its beautiful beaches – such as Kite Beach – and its iconic hotels, including the Burj Al Arab and the Madinat Jumeirah complex. This area, especially the Umm Suqeim 3, perfectly combines sightseeing with a relaxing holiday enjoying the sea. You will have to have a very high budget available because the hotels in this area are exclusive and very expensive. There are also renowned restaurants such as Pierchic and The Shimmer. Among the various hotels, you will find the Jumeirah Beach Hotel (wave-shaped), the Jumeirah Al Naseem, the Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, the Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf, the Jumeirah Al Qasr and the worldwide famous Burji Al Arab.
Here is the list of the best Hotels in Jumeirah.
Metro station: this area is not served by the Dubai Metro; therefore, you have to catch a bus or a taxi.
5. Al Barsha 1
Al Barsha 1 is a residential neighbourhood and an excellent choice to find accommodations. It stretches along Sheikh Zayed Road, right next to the Mall of the Emirates, and it is quite close to the most popular Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina. The area offers several hotels for any budget, including the 5-star hotel Hilton Garden Inn Dubai and the Grand Cosmopolitan.
Here is the list of the best hotels in Al Barsha 1.
Metro station: Mashreq metro station (red line).
6. Palm Jumeirah
The Palm Jumeirah, with its fantastic palm tree shape, is a famous artificial island located in one of the most beautiful areas of Dubai. Here, you can find some of the most luxurious and exclusive hotels and beach resorts far from the hustle and bustle of the city. So if you are looking for some relaxation and quiet, this is the perfect neighbourhood for your holidays. Palm Jumeirah also boasts a beautiful promenade called The Point. It offers entertainment and leisure with more than 80 restaurants, shops, areas for kids and a cinema restaurant. Its centrepiece is the spectacular Palm Fountain, inaugurated in October 2020 and inscribed in the Guinness World Record as the largest dancing fountain in the world.
Here is the list of the best hotels in Palm Jumeirah.
Metro station: the Palm Jumeirah is served by a monorail that links this iconic place with the Dubai tram stop. After taking the tram, you’ll get off at Damac Properties Metro station (red line). The area is connected by Dubai Tram with Dubai Marina.
7. Deira (the cheapest choice)
Deira lies on the eastern bank of Dubai Creek and is one of the city’s more authentic and busiest areas. This old quarter boasts most of the souks in the city, such as Spice Souk, Gold Souk, Perfume Souk, Fish Souk, the Heritage Museum and many restaurants, shops, malls. Here, you can find many affordable hotels and luxurious accommodations along the promenade creek and enjoy a magnificent Dubai view. It is also a functional area for those who need a stopover because Dubai International Airport is in Deira’s southeast. We often slept at the Landmark Grand Hotel, only a 5-minute walk from the Al Ghurair shopping mall, the busy Al Rigga Road and Union square Metro station.
Here is the list of the best Hotels in Deira.
Metro station: Most hotels are nearby Union Square Metro Station (green and red line) and Al Rigga Metro station (red line).
8. Bur Dubai (Our choice)
Situated in front of Deira, on the other side of Dubai Creek, Bur Dubai is another old area of the city where you can breathe the culture. This area is popular among tourists because of the restored historic quarter Al Bastakiya. Here, there’s the fascinating Dubai Museum, the Grand Mosque – situated next to the Dubai Museum -, the Textile Souk, Bedouin village recreation in the Heritage and Diving Village, and much more. This big neighbourhood is always our first choice when we visit Dubai since it offers a good location and fair prices for accommodation. The best district where to find accommodations are Al Riffa, al Karama and Al Mankhool, as they are close to a Metro Station. Our favourite hotel is the City season Tower Hotel (next to Burjuman Mall and 5 minutes walk from Bur Juman Metro station (red and green line). We also slept at Raviz Center Point Hotel and Rainbow Hotel.
Here is the list of the best Hotels in Bur Dubai.
Metro station: Bur Dubai has several Metro stations like BurJuman (the interchange station of the red and green line), ABCD (red line) and Al Fahidi (green line).
- How to save on accommodation
If your stay is long enough, the best way to save money is to share an apartment with Dubai residents. Many foreign workers rent the rooms of the flats where they live at affordable prices. Often, you will find rooms in skyscrapers equipped with all comforts, including a swimming pool and gym, and in residential districts such as Dubai Marina and Downtown. We used this option several times during our longer stays in Dubai and have always enjoyed it very much. To search for apartments or rooms for rent, you can use the Airbnb website.